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There are a handful of commonly used circular saw blade types available.
All of these blades have different benefits and downsides and will work in varying situations and on certain materials. In the article below, you'll find a detailed explanation of each.
Circular Saw Blade Types
Below are the most common types of circular saw blades that you'll find in a carpenters workshop.
- Standard Blades
- Dado Blades
- Segmented Blades
- Continuous Rim Blades
- Turbo-Rim Blades
- Abrasive Blades
Circular Saw Blade Types - Explained
Now that you know what type of circular saw blades there are out there, we're now going to explain their best uses, weaknesses, strengths, and the materials they can cut.
Standard blades are built for cutting wood; you'll have different tooth sequences and types used alongside a standard blade. If you're cutting wood, the number of teeth determines how effective its cutting power and material removal is.
If you're looking for a standard blade that can remove material, you'd best look for a blade with between 16 - 40 teeth. However, if you're looking for a fine and precise cut, blades with more than 40 teeth will suit. The more teeth, the finer the cut and less material it removes.
The gullet is the space between the teeth; this is what removes the material. Therefore, the larger the gullet, the more material removed, so blades with more teeth won't remove the material as aggressively and result in a finer cut. Popular standard blades are crosscut and ripping blades.
There are two types of dado blades; stacked or wobble dado blades. A stacked dado blade, otherwise known as a dado blade set, includes two or more blades connected to create a dado cut.
The two end blades are simply cutting blades, but in the middle are usually two chipper blades with between 2 - 4 teeth that remove material to create the dado cut. The more chipper blades, the wider the cut will be; the user can adjust this number of blades.
The alternative to a dado set would be using a wobble dado blade. A wobble dado blade is a single blade that moves in an S pattern in order to create the cut. The outer plates control the swaying on either side; these can be adjusted to cut a specified width.
A segmented blade has diamond-tipped teeth, which allows it to cut through tougher materials such as brick, marble, tile, and granite. The name segmented blade refers to the blade's large segmented sections that reduce dust and particle creation.
Segmented blades are incredibly aggressive and leave a rough cut. You'll also be able to complete a dry cut using this blade. However, it's still important to keep an eye out for overheating.
Continuous Rim Blades
A continuous rim blade is a blade that has one single sharp blade that covers the entire unit. The purpose behind the blade is to provide a precise and clean cut on tough materials like granite, brick, concrete, etc.
However, they're mainly used on brittle materials. Due to these blades' design, overheating is a common issue, which is why it's recommended to only do wet cuts with a continuous rim blade.
Another diamond-tipped blade, allowing this blade to cut through tougher materials like brick, concrete, etc. Many people get a turbo-rim and continuous-rim mixed up as they're similar in design.
The main difference is that the turbo blade has a serrated rim that provides a far rougher cut compared to the continuous rim with a smooth surface blade for smooth cuts. If you're looking to remove plenty of material but require a smoother finish than a segmented blade, then this is the blade for you.
Abrasive blades are commonly used on cutting metal materials, although they're still suitable for bricks, concrete, granite, etc.
As you may notice, the blade doesn't have any teeth; rather, it's made from an abrasive material called aluminum oxide, which creates a ceramic grain. These blades best suit metals like brass, aluminum, and titanium; you can also create a similar abrasive material by using silicon carbide.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Circular Saw Blade
When searching for your next circular saw blade for your project, you'll need to think about a few variables first before purchasing any blade out there. Below are a few questions that you should keep in mind before buying.
What Type Of Material Am I Cutting?
You can use a circular saw on most materials as long as you have the correct blade for it. Softer materials such as wood won't require specialized blades; this can be done using a standard crosscut/ripping blade with ease.
However, if you're looking to cut tougher materials like concrete or brick, this would require a diamond-tipped blade. The same goes for metal; an abrasive blade is more suited to brass, aluminum, and titanium.
What's The Importance Of the Number Of Teeth & Gullet Spacing?
The fewer the number of teeth means that the gullet spacing will be larger, resulting in large chunks of material being removed quickly. However, the larger gullet spacing means that the removal is more aggressive and not as clean.
If you want a clean cut that doesn't remove as much material, a larger quantity of teeth and smaller gullet spacing is suitable. Between 16 and 40 teeth is considered aggressive. Anything more than 40 provides a finer cut.
Does The Diameter Matter?
The diameter of your blade will impact the maximum RPM that can be accomplished by the blade. The reason for this is that the larger the diameter, the longer it takes for one tooth to make one pass. Therefore the larger it is, the longer it takes, meaning the RPM will be lower.
The smaller the diameter, the less time it takes for one tooth to make a pass, meaning the RPM will be faster. It's also important to not exceed the recommended maximum RPM; if you do so, it could shatter the blade, making it dangerous for everyone standing in the area.
Why Is The Blades Bond Important?
There are three types of blade bond; soft, medium, and hard. The purpose of the bond is to hold the diamond onto the blade. The harder the bond, the more durable it'll be. Therefore, if you're cutting a tough material using a segmented blade, this is quite rough. Therefore a hard bond will be suitable.
If you require a finer, smooth cut, this is usually done using a continuous rim blade with a soft bond. Soft bonds expose the diamond faster, which is great for cutting. However, it wears the diamond down quickly. Therefore, it's about finding the perfect balance.
There's a lot more information to learn and take in when searching for a new circular saw blade for your next project. The most important piece of advice to take in is to take your time and research correctly. If you just buy any blade or guess what's best, it'll only affect you negatively in the long run.